Recycling might seem like a no-brainer. If recycling will save the planet, then why not toss the plastic bottle in a recycling bin instead of the trash?
Well, the recycling system isn’t all it’s made out to be, heating up the arguments for and against recycling.
Some claim that recycling is the only thing we can do to preserve natural resources and stop toxic waste dumping.
Others argue that it’s just pushing our waste materials off-shore and the benefit we get isn’t worth the time and money we spend to recycle.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of plastic recycling.
Advantages of plastic recycling
Minimizing pollution :
This is one of the major reasons for the recycling of plastics. Since it is found abundant and due to its biodegradable nature, its recycling is important. This can reduce pollution to a great extent.
Job opportunities :
A lot of recycling units will be set up by the recycling industry which in turn creates a lot of job opportunities. Since it is a long chain from collection to delivery of products, a lot of people get a job in this process.
Reduction in landfills :
The dumped plastics are taken to the recycling industry. This reduces the amount of waste in landfills. This becomes very beneficial because this considerably reduces land, air and water pollution.
Saves resources :
Recycling saves the use of new resources. This is because no new resources are used for the recycling process. The existing resources are reused to make a new product.
Reduces global warming :
The dumping of waste and burning emits greenhouse gases like carbon, nitrogen and sulfur which triggers global warming. Plastic recycling reduces this to a great extent as a lot of plastics are being recycled instead of being dumped.
Cleaner environment :
As very little waste is being dumped, it increases the cleanliness of the surroundings which has a very positive impact on the environment. This is a great protection for biodiversity as a whole.
Disadvantages of plastic recycling
- People often do not separate their waste in a proper manner
- Plastic recycling processes are often quite inefficient
- Some items are not recyclable at all
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released into the atmosphere
- Melting plastic waste requires significant amounts of energy
- Plastic recycling can be time-consuming
- Jobs in plastic recycling are often carried out by unskilled workers
- May not be economically reasonable in some cases
- This may give people a flawed incentive to buy more plastic products
- Plastics can only be recycled a few times
- Recycled plastic may be of lower quality
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